Senegal: Fishermen Call on Candidates to Commit to Sustainable Fishing

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Amidst the ongoing presidential election campaign in Senegal, stakeholders in the fishing industry have organized to present a charter for sustainable fishing to the 19 presidential candidates vying for the election scheduled for March 24th. So far, eight candidates have signed the charter, but fishermen hope to garner support from as many candidates as possible for their proposals.

Freezing the issuance of new licenses for overexploited resources, cleaning up seabeds, auditing the canoe fleet and industrial fleet… These are some of the thirteen commitments proposed in the charter developed by the National Coalition for Sustainable Fishing.

“Nowadays, there is a depletion of resources. Before we used to fight, we were frustrated… But now, we have put this charter in place. These are solutions to ensure that the benefits of fishing return to Senegal,” explains Mamadou Sarr, secretary-general of the local fishing committee (CLP) of Ouakam.

Other ideas in the charter, which Greenpeace has supported, include managing stocks at the sub-regional level, auditing the fishing agreement with the European Union, and providing a percentage of money from oil and gas exploitation to the fishing sector.

Aliou Ba, head of the ocean campaign at the NGO in Africa, emphasizes the importance of presenting these solutions to presidential candidates: “As soon as they promise to integrate these 13 points into their program. This will allow us to monitor the candidates’ adherence to the commitments made,” he believes.

Currently, eight out of nineteen candidates have pledged to uphold these commitments if elected. This includes candidate Mahammed Boun Abdallah Dione, who visited fishermen in Ouakam this Tuesday. The candidate signed the charter because he believes that fishing is “one of the most important sectors” for the country. “We are fortunate to have over 500km of coastline on the Atlantic, and 17% of the population relies on the fishing sector, so it is important to work with them,” he declared


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